Pandemic Wreaks Havoc on the Football Season


The 2020 football season was especially difficult for the coaches and the players due to COVID-19.

“One of the biggest challenges for our team was finding consistency,” Coach Cantrell said. “Between guidelines, quarantines, and kids missing due fear of COVID, it was hard to find cohesiveness. I have to do a better job of coaching.”

For the 7th grade team, having so many students who had never played football before proved to be a struggle.

“We had low numbers and with the lack of football knowledge these kids had it made it difficult,” Coach Whitsett said.

Ever Hernandez, 7th, had his fears for the season.

“I was scared because you did not know if you were going to make it alive or not,” Ever said.

The biggest challenge was wearing masks on the sidelines.

“It was harder to breathe,” Alexander Martinez, 8th, said.

Zach Stewart, 9th, just plain felt frustrated.

“Putting it bluntly, the biggest challenge was simply trying to score and actually win a game,” Zach said. “The best moment, though, was when we got our first touchdown after four games.”

Even with all the challenges the athletes faced, the coaches continued to inspire them to keep going.

“They motivated me by saying ‘Yeah, they might be better than us, but we will fight this game, and we are not going to lay down and give it to them. They have to earn it,’” Daimain Vega, 7th, said.

Davaryan Andrews, 8th, appreciated the pep talks.

“They would talk to me when I was upset about a play to make sure I was okay,” Davaryan said.

Jordan Rodarte, 8th, liked when Coach Cantrell played music and made them work harder whenever the players got mad.

“We get our anger out on the field,” Jordan said.

With all the chaos that the pandemic delivered, the athletes still had their best moments.

“Getting two tackles on Greenwood’s running back felt good,” Yovani Zea, 9th, said. “We got to stop them from scoring again for a while.”

Damarkus Vega, 8th, remembered making his first touchdown.

“It was my first since I started playing the position,” Damarkus said.

Mason Medlock, 9th, remembered the Pea Ridge game.

“That is how we really were,” Mason said. “We played to our potential at that time.”

Issac Wright, 8th, also liked the Pea Ridge game.

“I broke about ten tackles in one play and then, on the next play, scored,” Issac said.

Luis Hernandez, 8th, appreciated the opportunity to practice with the Varsity team.

“It helped me to get extra work and experience,” Luis said.

Bryan Rangel, 7th, just enjoyed the camaraderie of the sport.

“Playing football with all my teammates was fun because I was with all my friends,” Bryan said.

Rain brought some good moments for the football players.

“One day during practice, it rained, which was pretty fun because we ended up jumping into some puddles,” Genrri Serpas, 9th, said.

Even the last game gave Daimian a moment to remember.

“We held them for a bit, and even though we lost, we FOUGHT,” Daimian said.

For the freshmen, knowing they are the last ones to play football for Kimmons Junior High brought out a mix of emotions.

“I feel honored to be the last one, but I am disappointed we couldn’t win more,” Mason said.

Adrian Macias agreed with Mason.

“It felt special, but I just wish we could have done more, had more wins,” Adrian Macias said.

Some struggled with the disappointing season.

“I just would have liked to have had a better year and more team cooperation,” Logan Claybaugh said.

Jesus Saldana tried to find a positive spin.

“We did do pretty bad this season, but at least we get to say we were the last Kimmons 9th grade football team,” Jesus said.

Deric Pilgrim felt nostalgic.

“It feels so surreal, you know, just being the last group,” Deric said. “It’s something special for sure.”

The coaches felt happy for the hard-working athletes.

“I am most proud of the kids who did not quit,” Coach Whitsett said. “They worked really hard and continued to get better all season long.”

Coach Cantrell agreed.

“I am super proud of the kids who bought in and kept working to get better,” Coach Cantrell said.